Sunday, May 18, 2014

Benedict Cumberbatch Watch: The Yellow Birds

Benedict Cumberbatch/An English Room by Derry Moore*

Variety reports from Cannes that Benedict Cumberbatch, Tye Sheridan and Will Poulter are set to star “The Yellow Birds.”

The movie, based on the book by Kevin Murphy revolves around two young soldiers (Sheridan and Poulter) and the older sergeant (Cumberbatch) who takes them under his wing while they are they are deployed to Iraq. The young soldiers are very young as are the actors playing them, a plus. Sheridan who plays the young Ben Day in the adaptation of Gillian Flynn's Dark Places is just 17, he doesn't turn 18 years old until the film is released this November. Will Poulter is just 20. But of course, both are babies in contrast to Mr. C's thirty seven years. The young actors are both Americans, will Cumberbatch be a Yank as well?

Tye Sheridan (center) Last Man Standing
Will Poulter (The Maze Runner)

"The war tried to kill us in the spring." So begins this powerful account of friendship and loss. In Al Tafar, Iraq, twenty-one-year old Private Bartle and eighteen-year-old Private Murphy cling to life as their platoon launches a bloody battle for the city. Bound together since basic training when Bartle makes a promise to bring Murphy safely home, the two have been dropped into a war neither is prepared for. 
In the endless days that follow, the two young soldiers do everything to protect each other from the forces that press in on every side: the insurgents, physical fatigue, and the mental stress that comes from constant danger. As reality begins to blur into a hazy nightmare, Murphy becomes increasingly unmoored from the world around him and Bartle takes actions he could never have imagined.  
With profound emotional insight, especially into the effects of a hidden war on mothers and families at home, The Yellow Birds is a groundbreaking novel that is destined to become a classic.

Story Mining acquired the rights to the Kevin Powers novel - a National Book Award finalist - and developed the script.

David Lowery (“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”) will direct the film from his own script.
“I never had any interest in making a war film until Jeff and Evan brought me the novel by Kevin Powers,” Lowery said. “And perhaps I still don’t, because while Powers’ story takes place during wartime, it isn’t about the conflict. It is about characters who find themselves caught up in war, but who struggle to not let it define them. I fell in love with them. It is a beautiful and deeply personal tale, relayed through images and memories, and I am excited to have the chance to bring it to the screen.”

I love how Lowery talks about the book, his appreciation for the characters. I'm frankly more excited though to see Cumberbatch as Alan Touring in The Imitation Game, the film in which he stars as the gay mathematician and codebreaker with Keira Knightley as his friend and fiance. I found a short teaser trailer of sorts so here you go:


If you're a Benedict Cumberbatch fan on constant Cumberbatch watch you probably know the image that headed this page is from the book An English Room, a cool little picture book that features British celebs talking about some of their favorite rooms. Benedict talks about his favorite place to read a script. 





2 comments:

  1. This sounds like an intense book/movie. Hope you love the actors' performances. No French twist?

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  2. The Yellow Birds is a moving and powerful elegy on the cost of war on the human heart. Kevin Powers' poetic voice shines through, even in the darkest scenes. All too often war is glamorized as the triumph of commitment and courage. This book puts the lie to that fable. Governments often site the 'cost of war' in terms of how many dollars are spent. The Yellow Birds shows us the real cost of war - an incalculable expense to the human spirit.
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